FanRag Sports is the first to report that the Cardinals are set to give Carlos Martinez a five-year extension worth $51 million.
“I want to play my whole career with the Cardinals,” Martinez told STLCards.com.
The Cardinals could make the official announcement as early as Thursday, but the agreement eliminates Martinez’s arbitration hearing, and it is also the largest extension ever given to a first-time arbitration-eligible player.
In 31 starts and 195 1/3 innings pitched, Martinez ranked among the National League’s best in wins (16, 5th), ERA (3.04, 9th), innings pitched (10th) and opponents’ batting average (.233, 12th) in 2016.
The Cardinals rotation appears set for the forseeable future. Martinez is locked in until 2021 with two option years. Adam Wainwright is signed through 2018. Mike Leake is signed through 2020, and top prospect Alex Reyes is under Cardinals control until he is a free agent after the 2021 season.